Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 3019560
Cell 1986 Sep;46(7):1011-21
Lambda integrative recombination depends on supercoiling of the phage attachment site, attP. Using dimethylsulfate protection and indirect end-labeling, the interaction of the recombination proteins Int and IHF with supercoiled and linear attP has been studied. Supercoiling enhances the binding of Int to attP, but not if a truncated attP site is employed or if IHF is omitted. We reason that the altered affinity reflects the formation of a higher-order nucleoprotein structure, an “attP intasome,” that involves Int and IHF assembly of both arms of attP into a wrapped configuration. The good correlation between the degree and sign of supercoiling needed to promote recombination and that needed for the “attP intasome” indicates that the primary role of supercoiling is to drive the formation of the wrapped structure.